Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Author: Sara Zarr
Published: January 2009 by Little Brown Books

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Romance | Girls
Includes: Brief profanity, Brief alcohol abuse, Sexuality

First Lines: Some memories are slippery. There are things I want to remember about Cameron Quick that I can't entirely, like the pajamas he wore when he used to sleep over, and his favorite cereal, or how it felt to hold his hand as we walked home from school in third grade.

Jenna Vaughn, a senior in high school, seems to have it all: her cute (first) boyfriend Ethan, lots of friends, and good looks. However, no one knows about her past and childhood memories from elementary school. Jennifer, as she went by, was an "ugly, fat loser with no friends" - that is, except for Cameron Quick. They were inseparable best friends and always there for each other. Until one day when Cameron suddenly disappears, and everyone says he's dead. So eight years later, while Jenna has moved on with her life and trying to live a normal one, Cameron suddenly shows up out of nowhere. And brings with him the memories of their secret, shared childhood. Jenna must face the past, confront her mother, and make room in her life for Cameron.

First off, I solely bought this book just from looking at the cover. I mean, yum?! That pink-frosted cookie looks delicious and I like how plain, yet elegant the cover is. So kudos to that.

This was an awesome book filled with emotion and beautifully written. I loved Jenna's character, and really got into her - she kind of reminded me of myself in ways. And Cameron? Aww, I just loved his character. He was such a sweetheart (ha, no pun intended! :P) and portrayed in the novel nicely. He and Jenna's chemistry seemed so real, unlike some books, when it seems almost forced. Theirs came naturally and I believed every page of it.

Each person in the book had a distinct personality, and I was able to tell each character apart. I particularly liked Alan, the step-dad, the best. I don't think anyone would hesitate to have a father like that. And the author wrote about the family members so descriptively, that it seemed like I was in the same room with them.

From Page 82
Alan's laptop was open on the kitchen table but he wasn't there. I wanted to see his crooked, comforting face. I found him standing at the fish tank, in the bleach-spotted blue sweatpants my mom pretended to hate, his curly hair matted to the back of his head from sleep.

One thing that kind of got on my nerves, though, was how much Jenna would freak out when she ate something unhealthy. Since she was fat when she was little, Jenna now eats healthy and rarely eats junk food. However, about three or four times in the book, when she would give into temptation and eat dessert, afterward she'd get so upset with herself. It's okay to eat sweets every once in awhile!

From Page 186
I found a package of Fig Newtons and took it to my room with what was left of the milk. I ate four, five, and half of a sixth, then stopped. If I kept going, which I could have easily done, I'd spend the rest of the night feeling sick and then be cranky and emotional in the morning.

Goodness, the emotion in this book was so realistic! Jenna's mom basically missed out on her daughter's whole childhood since she was rarely at home. So, when the mom starts taking care of Cameron and is always concerned about him, Jenna's reaction was so appropriate. She felt kind of jealous, left out, etc. And I could feel those mixed emotions for her, too! My heart ached for her, and I was very absorbed in her story.

The ending was sort of unclear. I still had a few unanswered questions, but nothing major. Overall, it was a great book and I'm glad I took the time to read it. I'll have to read something else written by Sara Zarr, soon.

Book Supplied by: Bought it at Borders! :)


  1. Looks great! Definitely interesting in reading this.

  2. Sarah Zarr just had a new book come out - ONCE WAS LOST - it's a must read :)

  3. @suzie townsend: YES, I want to read that book so badly! :)

  4. Great review. It definitely sounds interesting and sweet.

  5. This is one of my favourite books. Such an amazing story. Sara Zarr is fantastic.

  6. I haven't read this yet, though it sounds brilliant. :)

  7. I just got this book. Can't wait to read it!

  8. Very good review, and I'm like you - The cookie on the cover caught my eye right off LOL

    I've gotta see if my library can get this one :)

  9. Ive been wanting to read like since forever, but I just dont have enough time, but those four and a half stars scream READ IT!!! Nice review ;)

  10. This sounds like a great book. Nice review...I'm adding it to my list right now : )

  11. loved this book but i agree with you as well: i did have a few un answered questions after i read the last page

  12. The cover is wonderful! They should use bitten cookies instead of arrows pierced through hearts! Jenna sounds like a weird little fun character that I can't wait to read about!

  13. I have this book, but haven't read it yet. Your review is helping to push it to the top of the pile :)

  14. That cover is rather yummy... :D

    I've only read one novel by Sara Zarr but from what I remember, she's definetely got a talent for creating genuine characters. Looks like she succeeded again! I love the guy's name: Cameron Quick. It just rolls of the tongue in a nice way. o.O

  15. Aw, it's been for months in my wish-list. I don't even know when I am going to be able to get it, so... Well, I am glad you liked it. The cover is also super-sweet. I love it! :-)

  16. I'm actually just about to start this book, and now I'm even more excited than I was! And I agree: the cover is amazing. =D

  17. I had this book on my to-read list for like a year. And well, I never had a big interest on reading it. Even when I had no idea which book to read, I always skipped this one. I never liked reading reviews of books, because I don't want any spoilers. But in this case I read your review, because I wanted to know if this book is good. And apparently it's great. So, I don't know what I'm waiting for!

    Nice review, btw :)


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